Letters, Saturday, April 14th, 2012

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Shocked on visit from Down Under

I READ the comments in the Letters Page from Maureen Hall about the sad decline of Sunderland.

These were mirror comments of what my older brother said on his first visit to Sunderland from Australia in 50 years. He came home with his Australian wife and two daughters. His intention was a three-month stay but unfortunately there was nothing in Sunderland to keep him and his family here so he only had two days in Sunderland. Outside the Bridges, my brother called the town a run-down shanty town that was in lock down!

The next week they got the Metro into Newcastle daily, did some shopping, had a meal and a few drinks and the Metro back into Sunderland about 10pm. His comments on Newcastle? Great, a vibrant city. The next two weeks were up in Edinburgh, Scotland. His comment on Edinburgh? Fantastic!

So to finish his three-month holiday they headed down south to London for two months.

His last phone call to me from London was “fantastic, having a ball mate. My wife and girls just love London”.

So his last words to me were: “You must come to Australia. I will show you the real deal.”

Sadly a very bad reflection on Sunderland.

William Hill, Priory Grove, Sunderland

Lunatics in charge

BEFORE the last General Election I wrote if the Tories gained power it would be the equivalent of lunatics being put in charge of the asylum.

Since then the Tories have more than lived up to my forecast. Indeed some of their decisions could have come straight from the scripts of Yes, Prime Minister. For example, the Americans are still laughing up their sleeves over the Harrier jump-jets deal. This inadequate Government spent £700million of taxpayers’ money to refit our jump-jets. They then sold the lot to America for the paltry sum of £112 million.

The chief of the US Navy’s Supply Corps was delighted, and said: “We are taking advantage of all the money the Brits spent on them. It’s like we are buying a car with only 15,000 miles on it.” This deal is poor value for money, and shows the world how naive this pathetic Government is when it comes to doing business. I can well understand why Obama gave Cameron a hot dog and patted him on the back.

Then our scatter-brained Home Secretary got in on the act when she told the House of Commons that she’d let hundreds of thousands into the country without appropriate checks. She never learned from that, because a fortnight ago 500 passengers were allowed into the UK without showing passports.

Then we had the former Minister of Defence, Liam Fox, who endangered the security of the realm by insisting his best friend sat in on confidential defence conferences. Let’s not forget the other piteous Tory cabinet minister who ran around a London park filling up public litter bins with official Government documents!

More seriously, it’s now obvious even to a plank of wood that these millionaire ministers are incapable of managing the economy even-handedly. Osborne gave tax cuts worth £42,000 to millionaires, while families with children will lose £500 in this new tax year. He also deprived the pensioners of £3.5billion to fund the tax cuts for the rich.

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Millfield

Time for justice

WE know about Abu Qatada who because of so called Human Rights has for seven years been able to stay in this country. He is liable to walk free in three months time, and lives in a lovely house with his family, all on benefits.

We have three suspected Islamic terrorists who cannot be deported to Algeria because, you’ve guessed it, of their Human Rights.

In May 2010 Abid Naseer and Ahmad Faraz Khan who had been planning an imminent terror attack in Manchester, won the right to remain in Britain instead of being sent back to Pakistan.

However, France, which is in the EU, expels about 20,000 foreigners every year. Most are illegal immigrants plus law breakers and terrorist types, and their courts allow instant deportation. Family ties and long residence are not considered.

However, our lily-livered government with its soft and disgusting EU-fanatical judges cannot make logical decisions. The injustice which is being meted out by our government and so-called judges in this unbelievably stupidly run country of ours is nothing short of catastrophic.  

When are we going to see justice done?

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Decline of spirit

IT is common knowledge that a town that had shipyards and coal mines had a common community spirit. Well we have neither, so it is no surprise to read that there is an appeal from the officials of Shiney Row choir for younger volunteer singers, an appeal for the Lions Boxing Day Dip charity appeal for younger members, and younger collectors for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appea.

Even the Department of Culture Media and Sport latest statistics say the North East lags behind in taking part in areas of public life.  

Of course some senior citizens today say there’s plenty of activity – watching football, pop concerts, binge drinking – but people don’t really know neighbours, there’s materialism around Sundays, fewer church bells, more supermarkets tills ringing. Love your neighbour?

Bill Craddock, Donvale Road, Washington